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This poem is taken from PN Review 100, Volume 21 Number 2, November - December 1994.

Five Poems Michael Hofmann

Kleist in Paris

Dearest Mina,
  Thank you for yours, my first news
of you in ten weeks. Imagine my happiness
when I saw my address in your handwriting.
But then the postmaster wanted to see my passport,
and I didn't have it on me. I begged him
to make an exception, swore that I was Kleist,
but it was in vain. Deceived a thousand times,
he couldn't believe there was an honest man
left in Paris. I went home to get my passport,
and read your letter in a café, quite exhausted.
You are so earnest. Despite all the trouble
I cause you, you still manage to be cheerful.
It moved me so much that I left the theatre
...


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